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Katarzyna Kobro, Space Composition 4, 1929, Painted steel, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz. Photo by Piotr Tomczyk
CENTRAL EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDES: EXCHANGE AND TRANSFORMATION. 1910-1930

Sunday, March 10, 2002 - Sunday, June 2, 2002

LACMA
Los Angeles, CA

A stunning exhibition designed around environments that evoke specific places and events in which Central European Modernism evolved - Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910-1930 - opens March 10 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and will be on view through June 2, 2002.


Central European Avant-Gardes examines cities throughout this highly diverse region - in an era at the cusp of immense political and social change - as sites of vibrant cultural exchange: Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Weimar, Dessau, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Warsaw, Cracow, Poznan, Lódz. The exhibition identifies events (exhibitions and performances) and situations (artists' groups, publishing ventures, galleries, cafes, and schools) where such intercultural exchange took place. The lively cross-fertilization among artistic avant-garde movements helped these cities evolve from regional centers into cosmopolitan communities, and produced a remarkable variety of contributions to the evolution of modern art.


The various avant-garde centers sought to forge a common language under the rubric "International Constructivism" in art, architecture, design, and new art forms including typography, photography, and film. Central European Avant-Gardes examines the Warsaw constructivist group Blok, including the astonishingly prescient abstract geometric sculptures of Katarzyna Kobro and the serial abstract paintings of Wladyslaw Strzeminski. The subsequent Polish Constructivist group Praesens, as well as its Expressionist antecedents Bunt and Formisci, are also presented in paintings, woodcuts, and innovative periodicals.


All these points of orientation in Central European Avant-Gardes - the displays and environments - demonstrate a process of exchange between the ethnically diverse communities of Central Europe (an historical antecedent for America's own astonishingly broad diversity) that produced an international cosmopolitan community whose unprecedented cohesion and influence is still felt in the arts today.


For more information please visit www.lacma.org.




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